PCC commits new funding to
tackle youth knife offending

Home > Latest News > PCC commits new funding to tackle youth knife offending

A pioneering intervention project supporting young people out of knife carrying is set to be rolled out across the Thames Valley.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber, has committed £900,000 of funding to expand the Operation Deter Youth Programme following successful pilots in Milton Keynes and Slough.

Op Deter Youth is the young person strand of Operation Deter – a zero tolerance approach to knife crime that seeks to make better use of charging and remanding options for adults found in possession of a knife that has been implemented by Thames Valley Police with the support of the PCC.

The youth programme works to drastically speed up the time Youth Offending Teams make contact with under-18s that have been arrested for knife-enabled offences to just 90 minutes, increasing the levels of engagement of the young person and improving future safeguarding opportunities.

Matthew Barber said: “Tackling knife crime in the Thames Valley is a top priority for me, and Thames Valley Police. The implementation of Operation Deter, alongside other fantastic frontline and partnership working, has had an immediate impact with knife-enabled crime down 13%.

“This means that Thames Valley currently has one of the lowest levels of violent crime of any police force in the country but there is still more to do in stamping out the knife-carrying culture that sadly exists among too many young people.

“Op Deter Youth is a holistic approach that aims to support under 18s out of knife carrying by offering bespoke interventions within 90 minutes of a Youth Offending Team being notified of an arrest.

“I have been supporting Op Deter Youth pilots in Milton Keynes and Slough which have seen some extremely positive results. I want to see this success replicated across the whole of the Thames Valley which is why I have committed £900,000 of funding over the next two years to support the expansion of this impactful approach.”

The PCC has written to upper tier local authorities in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire to inform them of the funding commitment.

Op Deter Youth interventions include Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) assessments, education, training and employment support, mental health support, conflict resolution without violence and aggression and support for parents and carers.